As you set up your online store, your biggest concerns must be researching and evaluating options for a platform that meets your requirements and offers you the best service. You will need to consider several factors which we hope we have sufficiently covered in this article as we compare Shopify and Squarespace, two of the leading e-commerce platforms today.
Every website building solution has its strong points and weak ones as well. It is therefore important that we break these two down to their most outstanding pros and cons for a proper comparison.
Shopify and Squarespace both offer packages at various price levels tailored to different types of businesses.
Squarespace has four pricing options; two are categorized under ‘online stores’ and the others, ‘websites.’
Online store options:
Basic charged at $26 per month annually or $30 per month every month
Advanced charged at $40 per month annually or $46 per month every month
Personal: $12 per month charged annually or $16 monthly
Business: $18 per month charged annually or $26 monthly
Shopify offers the following pricing options:
Squarespace is without a doubt cheaper than Shopify, but if you would like to further do a cost-benefit analysis, then go ahead and try the 14-day free trial which both platforms offer.
Websites, in general, should have a simple but attractive interface that’s easy to use. Shopify and Squarespace both go the distance in providing feature-rich templates.
Shopify uses the drag-and-drop function in its store building interface. This is a very straightforward process, saving time and makes it easy for future changes. However, content and design cannot be edited concurrently. But on the bright side, Shopify lets you edit HTML/CSS and design virtually everything.
Squarespace uses a hybrid system with a wide selection of pre-created themes. Unlike Shopify, it allows you to edit content and design concurrently.
In summary, Squarespace is ideal for users who prefer high-quality ready-made themes, while Shopify print-on-demand favors those who prefer to have extensive artistic control. Squarespace is the best choice for more versatile visual content.
Squarespace and Shopify aren’t too far apart when it comes to the user interface. Both provide the main menu in the dashboard from where users can navigate. Both platforms’ interfaces are simple.
Squarespace’s interface is arguably sleeker and offers more functionality to create products and pages faster.
Shopify offers much more page responsiveness despite taking longer to design them.
It’s difficult to pick a winner in this; both platforms have their pros and cons. Squarespace occasionally crashes in the middle of writing a blog post or setting up. Shopify also crashes occasionally although not as frequently as Squarespace. You however have little to worry about if you are using a decent machine that handles heavy graphics well.
Both platforms offer their users mobile apps that can be used to run their online stores remotely.
Squarespace provides different apps for commerce, analytics, and site management. You are more likely to use the commerce app or Squarespace app which lets you edit the content on your website and respond to comments. Form builder is an extension for building customizable forms and thank-you pages. Sellers can build anything from a survey via live chat to a booking form for better interaction with customers. The Google maps plugin is ideal for businesses with physical locations which enables a seller to display their address and contact information in a visually appealing way and also give site visitors a way to easily get directions to the business premises.
Shopify also offers a vast selection of apps, the most robust among them being the main Shopify app which allows you to manage and monitor your store remotely. There are also apps to support Point of Sale functionality. Seguno app helps merchants send welcome emails to new customers. This service also generates thank-you emails and helps sellers build trust among their customers which is particularly helpful in the long term by guaranteeing buyers remember the seller’s brand. Another useful app is Smile which helps merchants generate more sales through referral marketing. One can use Smile to motivate their audience for more purchases by spreading the word about their web store. The app lets you design a points, referral, or VIP-based loyalty program to encourage more sales and also check the results easily through Smile analytics.
Squarespace does not have its app store whereas Shopify has. The third-party integrations offered mean that you can add virtually any functionality to your store.
Both Squarespace and Shopify allow you to sell online and offline providing tools that make transactions possible and secure such as Point of Sale functionality.
Squarespace in recent years began offering POS functionality and allows US-based companies to sell offline too with Square, one of the best POS systems in the market.
Shopify is more advanced in offline selling. It provides users with not only POS functionality but also the hardware to support it, which Squarespace does not. It allows users to link hardware to their stores and inventory for tracking purposes and also provides options for staff accounts and PINs.
Shopify offers numerous eye-catching free templates. It may offer fewer free templates than Squarespace but when it comes to paid themes, it offers more than 60 different paid templates with several variations.
The themes you will pay for on Shopify are on a leveled standard with those you will find on print-on-demandSquarespace with robust functionality.
Squarespace allows users to choose from more than 20 different ‘families’ of templates all with several variations. The platform is big on visual integrations which are useful for bloggers and also include support for video backgrounds on any page.
Shopify has a much more comprehensive assortment of advanced e-commerce functions and features although it takes more than that to edge out Squarespace whose simplicity and user-friendly design is a big selling point.
Some users may favor Shopify’s flexibility as a website building and sales tool whereas others will go for Squarespace’s simpler and easier to access tools and interface.
It all comes down to what kind of business you run and what your unique needs are before you can choose a platform that works for you.